What is Tagging?


Tagging, the practice of attaching a descriptive word or phrase to a piece of online content for the purpose of linking it to other related content, has become a mainstream activity. Tagging is now being used in very creative and functional ways by people in all kinds of communities, scholarly and otherwise, and even allows researchers to dynamically create coding and classification schema that reflect the collective wisdom of their community. Nearly every website designed for sharing media — whether audio, video, images or other media — includes a field for the author to tag the media at the time of upload. Most all of these sites also allow viewers to add their own tags. Social bookmarking sites allow users to tag — and in some cases, highlight and annotate — web pages for easy retrieval later. The power of community tagging is that large collections can be built easily by leveraging the collective efforts of the community. In the hands of students, it can also be a powerful way to develop information and knowledge management skills.

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